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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars


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VINE VOICEon 5 May 2004
Van Morrison returns to the east Belfast of his childhood for a record with snatches of R and B, protestant chapels ('Be Thou My Vision') and the mysticism which with he somehow rose about it all without ever leaving it behind.
The title track is one of his greatest ever compositions and performances, and the whole thing is full of twists and surprises without ever losing the theme or the plot. Even when he starts to ramble a little in the nostalgia of place names around those terraced streets, you just feel you're there with him on those sunny afternoons of childhood. Inspired.
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on 23 April 2017
Near the even.
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on 22 June 2016
It is hard to pick out a Van Morrison album, as he has so many. The reason for this one is I'd miss out and had not purchased this on release for some reason.
It is a double LP that deserves to be, there are no weak waste of time tracks on board. The songs as ever have plenty of soul and blues, but also brings The Cheiftains element on a number of tracks. There are some extremely passionate and heart felt songs, not a rarity to the artist.
If you have let this one pass you by, please give it a go.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 May 2017
I must admit to leaving Hymns To The Silence late in my plan to acquire the bulk of Van Morrison's output. Reading reviews mention was made frequently about the spirituality of the album, it's inclusion of a small number of cover versions including actual hymns which might be viewed as 'padding' to flesh out a double album. Add to that the relatively high cost and on the face of it not an instant purchase. How wrong can you be? Very in this case, as receiving the album as a surprise birthday present reveals a major work from a major artist. Much of the album is a wistful look back at Morrison's youth and his influences, hence the covers and the hymns which sit easily. On Hyndford Street is not the only time Morrison was to look back at a childhood shaped by listening to Radio Luxembourg, hymns such as Be Thou My Vision are taken with utmost sincerity revealing his religious Belfast upbringing ably backed by The Chieftains. Of the many top notch originals opener Professional Jealousy and following track I'm Not Feeling It Anymore show more of Morrison's supposedly curmudgeonly personality, though on tracks like Village Idiot there's a wicked glimpse of humour allowed to poke through. This is a lovely relaxing album, not at all what I was expecting and right up there with his great works from the early 70's.
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Hymns To The Silence is an opus magnum where Morrison's talent reaches awesome new heights. The album impresses on many levels: the lyrical ingenuity, melodic beauty, intelligent arrangements and above all the expert mastery of many different musical styles, including country, folk, soul, rock and gospel.
Although every track is memorable and tuneful, my favourites include I'm Not Feeling It Anymore with its galloping rhythms and flowing melody, the rocking Ordinary Life, a wry observation on life, the jaunty, jazzy So Complicated and the beautiful authentic country song I Can't Stop Loving You.
Very personal observations like Professional Jealousy and Why Must I Always Explain have more of the folky feel about them, especially the second one with its hypnotic melody line. Perhaps the greatest moment is Be Thou My Vision, an extraordinarily powerful hymn that is one of this artist's best descriptions of spiritual ecstasy.
In this regard, the title track is gripping too, but more subdued and restrained, creating a feeling of awe. See Me Through (Just A Closer Walk With Thee) is also very moving but a more traditional slice of gospel and it reminds me of Astral Weeks. The soulful song Take Me Back with its wistful harmonica likewise has a touch of that great album.
Hymns To The Silence is an uplifting work of genius on a par with Astral Weeks, Moondance and Tupelo Honey but provides greater variety than any of them. Every track here has some special quality and the alternating musical styles make it a wonderful and inspiring listening experience.
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on 4 October 2006
This is a fantastic piece of work. Much more than just a collection of tracks, this is almost a spiritual concept album. Van Morrison is often guilty of believing his own press, but this is deserving of all praise it receives.

The mood of the album as a whole is genuinely uplifting, and the lyrics are heartfelt. As well as giving an insight into Van's growing up, it could be any of us writing these songs. It talks about childhood memories, dreams we had, places we lived...it has a real dreamy quality that I can't remember many albums having.

Its not mainstream, and not weel known, but once you hear it, I am sure you won't forget. Flawed Masterpiece.
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on 18 February 2000
Almost all of Van Morrison's music is worth checking out.
This is excellent, even by those high standards we have come to expect from him.
There are some simply astonishing tracks on here, that capture that beauty that Van Morrison's songs exemplify. Some songs are just stunning - check out "By His Grace" and the title track "Hymns to the Silence" - quite breath-taking! And "Carrying the Torch" is magnificent too. An exceptional album from an exceptional artist. Don't miss it!
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Hymns To The Silence is an opus magnum where Morrison�s talent reaches awesome new heights. The album impresses on many levels: the lyrical ingenuity, melodic beauty, intelligent arrangements and above all the expert mastery of many different musical styles.
Although every track is memorable, my favourites include I�m Not Feeling It Anymore with its galloping rhythms and flowing tune, the rocking Ordinary Life, a wry observation on life, the jaunty, jazzy So Complicated and the beautiful authentic country song I Can�t Stop Loving You.
Very personal observations like Professional Jealousy and Why Must I Always Explain have more of the folky feel about them, especially the second one with its hypnotic melody line. Perhaps the greatest moment is Be Thou My Vision, an extraordinarily powerful hymn that is one of this artist�s best descriptions of spiritual ecstasy.
In this regard, the title track is gripping too, but more subdued and restrained, creating a feeling of awe. See Me Through (Just A Closer Walk With Thee) is also very moving but a more traditional slice of gospel and it reminds me of Astral Weeks. The soulful song Take Me Back with its wistful harmonica likewise has a touch of that great album.
Hymns To The Silence is an uplifting work of genius on a par with Astral Weeks, Moondance and Tupelo Honey but provides greater variety than any of them. Every track here has some special quality and the alternating musical styles make it a wonderful and inspiring listening experience.
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on 25 January 2010
Why this album is not currently available freely to all his fans I really don't know. I don't get the music industry at times. This is a great album. an astonising album. My CD is well worn out, my original cassette version was also worn out, I need another copy at a reasonable price.
This album has everything as other reviewers have said before me. There is not quite a favourite track for me but I will mention Village Idiot and Green Mansions - truly a set of tracks you will never tire of and will stick in your mind forever.
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on 25 March 2003
This is quite simply a "must have" album. It incorporates all the moods of Van the
Man, from his "Professional Jealousy" and "Why Must I always Explain" to "Hymns
to the Silence" and "By his Grace". The titles are as transparent as the songs
themselves, but the music is deep and will stir your emotions like only the Van can.
There are some Van Morrison specialities here also, like "On Hyndford Street" and
"Pagan Streams" where the hypnotic narrative takes the album to another level.
If you don't own a Van Morrison album, this would be a great start, as it incorporates the
many different sides to this musical genius.
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